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Local News

January 28, 2014

County sells Otsego Manor to top bidder

(Continued)

“We certainly would not have gone with them if we had not felt the quality of care would continue to be as high or perhaps even higher in the future (than it is now),” he said.

Lindberg also contended that the package offered by Focus is the best deal for the county.

“I was very impressed with Focus,” he said. “I think they worked hard in Utica, and they are going to work hard here.”

The trustees said the agreement with Focus will make the company eligible for a property tax break on the Manor via a payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement that has already been approved by the Otsego County Industrial Development Agency.

The PILOT will be similar to one structured for an Ulster County nursing home sale involving the same investors in the company that owns Susquehanna Nursing and Rehabilitation. That 25-year arrangement calls for yearly increases in the company’s payments, resulting in a savings of some $4 million, according to press reports last year.

LDC trustees backing the high bidder said all current Manor employees will be eligible to apply for jobs with Focus Ventures.

“The firm has a reputation for excellence in relationships with unions and the employees they represent,” the LDC said in a press release that Stuligross distributed.

Along with the Manor, Focus, at the closing, would become owner of the 18.5-acre site as well as the alternative home health care program that the county has been operating.

Following the board’s decision, Stuligross declined a request from The Daily Star for a copy of the proposal submitted by Focus in response to the local development corporation’s request for proposals.

“Talk to the lawyer,” she said when asked for the portion of the proposal that lays out the company’s vision for the facility.

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